The Western Caucasus, extending over 275,000 ha of the extreme western end of the Caucasus mountains and located 50 km north-east of the Black Sea, is one of the few large mountain areas of Europe that has not experienced significant human impact. Its subalpine and alpine pastures have only been grazed by wild animals, and its extensive tracts of undisturbed mountain forests, extending from the lowlands to the subalpine zone, are unique in Europe. The site has a great diversity of ecosystems, with important endemic plants and wildlife, and is the place of origin and reintroduction of the mountain subspecies of the European bison.
2017 Conservation Outlook
Current state and trend of VALUES
Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT
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Description of values
Warm-temperate forest ecosystems
Subalpine, alpine and nival ecosystems
Raptor migration bottleneck
Plant species diversity and endemism
and recreational activities in the region, compared to their socio-economic effects on public safety, environment and water resources (IUCN Advisory Mission Report, 2016).
The 2016 IUCN Advisory Mission recommended that the monitoring system of the property and the whole area should be strengthened, in line with this “Plan of measures for the restoration of Mzymta river".
|№||Organization/ individuals||Project duration||Brief description of Active Projects|
|1||WWF Russia||Leopard reintroduction project Northern Caucasus|
|№||Site need title||Brief description of potential site needs||Support needed for following years|
|1||N.A.||Training programme for PA staff of the property in general PA management|
|2||N.A.||Scoping study on potential economic values of ecosystem services and ways for their optimization|
|3||N.A.||Establishment of a comprehensive monitoring system for key biodiversity values across the entire property|
|4||N.A.||Development of a sustainable tourism strategy|
|1||BirdLife International (2012). Endemic Bird Area Datasheet: EBA 122 Caucasus. (electronic reference) <http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/ebafactsheet.php?id=87> accessed 20 June 2012.|
|2||Debonnet, G. and Lethier, H. (2010). Mission Report: Joint reactive monitoring mission to the Western Caucasus World Heritage Property, Russian Federation. (electronic reference) <http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/900/documents/> accessed 20 June 2012.|
|3||Environmental Watch on the North Caucasus (2012a). The destruction of World Heritage at Lunnaya Polyana continues. (electronic news item) < http://www.ewnc.org/node/9091> accessed 20 June 2012. (in Russian)|
|4||IUCN (2012a) WHC-12/36.COM/7B: State of conservation of World Heritage properties inscribed on the World Heritage List. http://whc.unesco.org/en/sessions/36COM/documents/.|
|5||IUCN (2012b) The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. (electronic reference) <http://www.iucnredlist.org/> accessed 20 June 2012.|
|6||IUCN (2016). Advisory mission report (Western Caucasus). http://whc.unesco.org/document/157748|
|7||Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation (2012). Database of Strictly Protected Areas of the Russian Federation: Caucasus Biosphere Reserve. (electronic resource) <http://www.zapoved.ru/> accessed 20 June 2012.|
|8||Rao, K. and Lethier, H. (2008). Mission Report: Reactive monitoring mission to the Western Caucasus World Heritage Site, Russia. (electronic reference) < http://whc.unesco.org/en/documents/100686/> accessed 20 June 2012.|
|9||SOC report (2014): WHC-14/38.COM/7B: State of conservation of World Heritage properties inscribed on the World Heritage List|
|10||UNEP-WCMC (2011). The Western Caucasus, Russian Federation. UNEP-WCMC World Heritage Information Sheets. (electronic reference) < http://www.unep-wcmc.org/medialibrary/2011/06/28/a9f15ada/W…; accessed 20 June 2012.|
|11||UNESCO (2017). Report on the State of Conservation of Western Caucasus. State of Conservation Information System of the World Heritage Centre. <http://whc.unesco.org/en/soc/3656>|
|12||World Heritage Centre (1999). World Heritage nomination documentation: The Western Caucasus. (electronic reference) <http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/900/documents/> accessed 20 June 2012.|